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CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

  • 1.  CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 08-21-2017 02:10 PM

    Hello,

     

    Have a possible opportunity to present to Michigan CA PPM User Group (MiCUG) with CA personnel present, on the topic of using CA PPM in an international company.  Purpose of the session is to educate audience on issues with using CA PPM in such an environment, understand how audience members, if any, have approached or solved such issues, collect/create ideas and gather support for voting on the ideas.

     

    If interested in getting your international use issue on the agenda, please let me know what your issue is and if/how you've addressed it, so far.  If you have an idea, comment or other discussion already started on this subject in the CA PPM community site, please provide a link to your topic. 

     

    Here's a couple to get started:

     

    - Story 01:  Project managers and their financial controllers, would like to plan costs in their local currency, and then link projects in common hierarchy structure.  For example:  System project is planned out of Germany, and has a child component project run out of US and software project run out of India.  CA PPM (through 15.2) doesn't allow one to connect projects from different Entities into a common hierarchy.  What we do:  Today, we have single Entity/Currency and planning is done in local currency, offline in separate tools.

     

    - Story 02:  Our country of ownership has changed, causing a change in base planning/reporting currency - need to change from currency A to currency B, without replacing all our in flight projects.  What we do:  Wait - haven't been asked yet to convert currency.  When asked, expect that we will create new Entity on new currency - close projects in early stages and recreate in new entity - perhaps with a bi-directional link between them, such that we may also use in reports to combine data (spent on original project + spend on new project, with a necessary currency conversion...); remaining projects, may let run to closure.

     

    - Story 03:  Since our ownership has changed, so have our Fiscal Time periods.  Fiscal time periods are entity based and unchangeable once cost plans are created against them.  Also, company only commits to fiscal dates one year ahead of current year, while most of our projects are multi-year.  What we do:  We don't use the feature as intended, only entering Gregorian month start/end dates for Fiscal periods.

     

    Please, add your workarounds to the above stories, add your own stories and provide related links if you have them.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Dale



  • 2.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 10-25-2017 06:28 PM

    Hi Dale,

     

    It looks like no one replied to your thread. Does the Michigan PPM User Group still exist?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Bob



  • 3.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 10-25-2017 06:51 PM

    Hi Bob,

     

    Yes, MCUG still exists and is quite healthy.  Problem seems to be that few in Michigan are using CA PPM internationally, and those that are, are not yet using it for financials.

     

    I hate having to beg for votes on this subject.  For a product that is marketed internationally, there are a number of improvements needed in financials that just need to get done.  I’ve gotten 6 votes on this idea – need something like 25 to get it pulled into development.  And 3 of the votes are from my company.

     

    Uphill battle.  If you are good at selling, could use your help!

     

    Dale



  • 4.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 11-10-2017 01:22 AM

    Hi Dale_Stockman, having spent the last three years rolling out Clarity at a multi-national investment bank we had some pretty major challenges on the Clarity front - but primarily on the Finances. In addition to a couple of the points that you raised above, here are some more:

     

    1. Resource availability by Region / Country was a real hassle for us. Our major countries that we had project delivery resources located in all had different standard days. We couldn't plan on an hour estimate basis as a result because we couldn't necessarily forecast where the resources were coming from consistently - so we had to rely on FTE planning

    2. Off the back of (1) we had challenges around the standard number of hours that had to be completed by Region / Country. We had to agree on a standard hours per day (based on Australia) but it was distinctly different to some countries like Japan or Korea. We couldn't enforce different number of hours by person / country in our timesheet validation.

    3. Again related to (1) resource calendars were a frustrating way to identify availability of a resource, and a team plan for a multinational team does not readily display the differences in FTE for one resource against another for the different number of days. e.g. I may have 2 resources on my team full-time that are 100% allocated - but in a given month that would translate to the Australian resource being on 23 days but the Filipino resource being on 20 days.

    4. There is only one department against a project, but I may have registered multiple departments globally that are sitting in multiple entities. My project costs are the sum of these costs from the different cost centres in the different entities - so to replicate this I have to configure.

    5. Forex is constantly a challenge, and it is difficult to see the phased impact of forex against a cost plan (explicitly). This is exacerbated for projects that run over multiple financial years. And while finance are able to assist on an average forex for a year, they would never agree to this over multiple financial years.

    6. Non-labour costs in different currencies does not work as advertised. There is more work that could be done here.

    7. Managing the rate matrix where rates differ for the same level of employee globally is very manual and there is no easy way to extract the rate matrix (let alone update this in bulk). This becomes more problematic over time.

    8. Managing the jobs on a 24 x 7 calendar can become quite clogged. If you have to run the jobs several times for multiple close of business timings (say Asia Pacific / India / London / New York) it does not leave you with many open windows to do things.

    9. Related to (8) when was the appropriate time for portfolio synchronization to be scheduled.

     

    That is a quick brain dump. We had many other issues, which invariably led to compromises for many of our internationally located workforce (away from home base).



  • 5.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 11-13-2017 04:31 AM

    Dale we've caught up on this a few times, but for everyone else here are some other "gotchas"

     

    User facing / Functional

    • Localisation and translation problems
    • No ability to forecast for different currency items (i.e. I need to pay a supplier in € but project is £)
    • No out the box way to see impact of FX rates, i.e. how much of plan deviation is FX?
    • No out the box way to see that resource has a rate currency different to the project currency (i.e. FX risk)
    • All resources on the same planning day length (applicable if you want to use days for forecasting)

     

    Technical

    • Past actuals (WIP_VALUES) will only contain entries as per entity set up at the time of processing. i.e. your past actuals won't be available in a new currency addition.
    • Inconsistent use of "currency_type" , i.e. reporting or billing.
    • Need to add extra logic to reporting, i.e. run at local project = local currency, run for portfolio then portfolio currency
    • limited multi currency processing - effectively dual per entity
    • No supported FX rate API out the box
    • Projects tied to an entity once transactions posted, issue if entity needs to be replaced and project is long-term.
    • Calendars (as mentioned above)
    • Limited federated identity support

     

    You can work around most of this with enough time and technical expertise.

     

    CA seem to be working their way through most of these and new customers may not face the same challenges.



  • 6.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 11-13-2017 05:10 PM

    Thanks to all for these comments - we're about to start rolling PPM across Asia/Pac/LATAM regions and it's good to know the gotchas so we can start thinking how to work around them.

     

    Dale_Stockman you mentioned an Idea that you've raised but you didn't link to it - can you link it here so we (that is, I) can go upvote it?



  • 7.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?



  • 8.  Re: CA PPM in International Use -- What are your top issues?

    Posted 11-14-2017 02:21 PM

    As a Services Architect with PPM at CA, I'd like to encourage all of you to submit these potential changes to the Financials system as possible enhancements.  Having contributed to multiple cross-global projects, I fully appreciate the challenges that you have faced.  Dale_Stockman, thank you for raising this important topic!